TED Conversations

Randy Speck

Superintendent , Madison District Public Schools

This conversation is closed.

Debate: Should public schools take on the responsibility for offering basic needs like food and health care to students and families?

Schools may no longer be just a place for parents to drop their kids off for six and a half hours each day. Due to various socio-economics, schools increasingly find themselves in a new place of influence. The impact of that influence could have a major impact on communities. Schools have access to be able to provide three meals a day through various breakfast, lunch and dinner programs. Schools have access to healthcare through School Based Health Centers to be able to provide services to students, their families and the community. However, the debate is...should schools have this responsibility?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 27 2012: I think schools should focus on making the learning environment conducive for pupils and students; but I hope we do not become a society where parents abandon their responsibilities to the school authority.
    Educating a child is the responsibilities of all stakeholders in the education sector, so I'd say that schools should meet the basic needs when the child is at school.
    • thumb
      Oct 28 2012: I agree that schools should focus on making a good learning environment for students, but in some situations children haven't had a proper meal in days, are dealing with sick ,or neglectful parents. We don't know what some of these kids go through from 3:30pm when school is out to 9:00am the next morning.
      I think that if kids are getting a proper 3 meals a day at school (if they can't get it at home) it would foster a better learning environment for the student and be able to keep kids from rough households coming to school.
      • thumb
        Oct 29 2012: Alyson,

        "We don't know what some of these kids go through from 3:30pm when school is out to 9:00am the next morning."

        It breaks my heart sometimes to hear of students who spend the hours outside of school "surviving". My hope is that we can create an environment that uses school as a catalyst for growth, creativity, safety, nurturing, etc. Schools may have had an initial mission to educate children...that of course still exist but the mission has expanded and in some places the mission is to break the cycle that now consumes so many students and their families.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.